Future-proofing talk after quake

20:00, Feb 03 2013

A Rangitikei township home to a mild rumbling at the weekend is on track to talk about bigger earthquake issues soon.

GeoNet reported a magnitude 4.5 quake hitting Hunterville about 3pm on Saturday.

It was located 5 kilometres south of the township and at a depth of 67km.

The quake was widely felt, with 227 people across the Manawatu-Whanganui area reporting by 4.30pm that it affected them.

Hunterville resident Maureen Fenton said she was watching the Wellington sevens on TV in her sitting room when she heard the quake. "It was over before I even realised it was happening.

"I didn't get off the chair to get under a doorway or anything, so I can't have been too worried, and I live in a big old house too, but nothing was shaking or falling off shelves."


Farmer Ruth Rainey was in Mangaweka, 27km northeast of the Rangitikei township, pulling weeds in her garden.

"I was outside when I heard all the windows and doors rattling in the house.

"I thought that's weird, because there was no wind, so knew that must be an earthquake then."

She said the region was partial to a few shakes every now and again but nothing too serious.

Rangitikei mayor Chalky Leary, who lives in Hunterville, said he wasn't at home when the quake hit on Saturday, but it was a popular topic at Hunterville's Presbyterian Church service yesterday.

The quake was quite timely because talk of future-proofing earthquake-prone buildings, like the church, across the district was soon to happen, he said.

Public debate on the Government's proposed changes to dealing with earthquake-prone buildings would be coming into focus and residents of the district should have their say, he said.

"People in Marton always tell me about the bank buildings and various services leaving town because of the safety of the buildings."

The only public meeting to be held in this part of the country about the Government's plans is on February 14 in Palmerston North. Community representatives from Tararua, Rangitikei and the wider Manawatu will be coming to the city to talk through changes to how earthquake-prone buildings will be dealt with following the Christchurch earthquakes.

Public consultation closes on March 8.

Manawatu Standard